Ancient vicuna wool-shearing tradition lives on in Peruvian Andes


Vicunas live at least 3,500m above sea level. Photos: Carlos Mamani/AFP

At daybreak on a freezing cold day high in the Andes, dozens of Peruvian peasants clamber up a mountainside to carry out a centuries-old tradition of shearing the highly-prized wool off vicunas, which are relatives of the llama.

One week each year, the peasants of Totoroma, a village 50km to the southwest of Lake Titicaca, join forces for a process of herding and shearing known locally as the chaccu.

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